Mandeville's travels : the Cotton version
Mandeville, John, Sir., British Library. Manuscript. Cotton Titus C.16.
Hamelius, Paul, 1868-1922.

Chapter XIII

THE DEAD SEA, THE SAMARITANS

OF THE DEDE SEE, AND OF THE FLOM JORDAN; OF THE HED OF SEYNT JOHN THE BAPTIST, & OF THE VSAGES OF THE SAMARITANES.

AND fro Jerico a .iij. myle is the dede see; Aboute þat see growetℏ moche Alom & of Alkatran. Betwene Jerico & þat see is the lond of Dengadde & þere was wont to growe the bawme, But men make drawe the braunches þereof & beren hem to ben graffed at Babyloyne, And ȝit men clepen hem vynes of Gaddy. At a cost of þat see as men gon from Arabe is the mount of the Moabytes where þere is a cave þat men clepen karua. Vpon þat hiƚƚ ladde Balak the sone of Booz Balaam the prest for to curse the peple of Israel. þat dede see departetℏ the lond of Iudee & of Arabye and þat see lastetℏ from Soara vnto Arabye. The water of þat see is fuƚƚ bytterPage  1:67 & salt And ȝiff the erthe were made moyst & weet with þat water it wolde neuere bere fruyt. And the erthe & the lond chaungeþ often his colour And it casteth to [deleted in MS] out of the water a thing þat men clepen Aspalt Also gret peces as the gretness of an hors [folio 46a] euery day & on aƚƚ sydes. And fro Ierusalem to þat see is .CC. furlonges; þat see is in lengtℏe fyue hundred and foure skore furlonges And in brede an hundred and fifty furlonges And it is clept the dede see for it rennetℏ nougℏt, but is euere vnmeuable. And noutℏer man ne best ne nothing þat beretℏ lif in him ne may not dyen in þat see And þat hatℏ ben preued many tymes be men þat han disserued to ben dede þat han ben cast þerjnne & left þerjnne .iij. dayes or .iiij. & þei ne mygℏte neuer dye þerjnne for it resceyuetℏ no thing withjnne him that beretℏ lif. And noman may drynken of the water for bytternesse, And ȝif a man caste jren þerein it wole flete abouen, And ȝif men caste a fedre þerein it wole synke to the botme. And þeise ben thinges aȝenst kynde. And also the cytees þere weren lost because of synne aȝenst kynde [supplied by ed.] And þere besyden growen trees þat beren fuƚƚ faire apples & faire of colour to beholde but whoso breketℏ hem or cuttetℏ hem in two he schaƚƚ fynde within hem coles & cyndres jn tokene þat be wrattℏe of god the cytees & the lond weren brente & sonken in to helle. Summen clepen þat see the lake dalfetidee, summe the flom of deueles & summe the flom þat is euer stynkynge for þe water þeroff es stynkand [supplied by ed.] . And in to þat see sonken the .v. cytees be wrattℏe of god þat is to seyne Sodom Gomorre Aldama Seboym & Segor for the abhomynable synne of sodomye þat regned in hem. But Segor be the preyere of lotℏ was saued & kept a gret while For it was sett vpon an hiƚƚ And ȝit schewetℏ þerof sum party aboue the water & men may see the walles whan it is fayr weder & cleer. In þat cytee lotℏ dwelte a lytyƚƚ while & þere was he made dronken of hisPage  1:68 dougℏtres & lay witℏ hem & engendred of hem Moab & Amon And the cause whi his dougℏtres made him dronken & for to ly by hem was this: because þei [folio 46b] sawgℏ no man aboute hem but only here fader And þerfore þei trowed þat god had destroyed aƚƚ the world as he hadde don the cytees, as he had don before be Noeis flood, & þerfore þei wolde ly with here fader for to haue issue & for to replenysscℏe the world aȝen with peple to restore the world aȝen be hem, for þei trowed þat þer had ben no mo men in aƚƚ the world. And ȝif here fader had not ben dronken he hadde not yleye with hem. And the hiƚƚ abouen SEGOR men cleped it þanne EDOM And after men cleped it SEYR And after ydumea. Also at the rigℏt syde of þat dede see dwelleth ȝit the wif of lotℏ in lykness of a salt ston for þat schee loked behynde hire whan the cytees sonken in to helle. This lotℏ was Araāmes sone þat was brotℏer to Abrāham, And Sarra Abrahames wif & Melcha Nachors wif weren sustren to the seyd lotℏ. And the same sarra was of elde .iijxx. ȝeer and .x. whan ysaac hire sone was goten on hire, And Abraham hadde anotℏer sone ysmael þat he gat vpon Agar his chambrere whan he was but .xiiij. ȝeer of elde. And whan ysaac his sone was .viij. dayes old Abraham his fader leet him ben circumcyded And ysmael with him þat was .xiiij. ȝeer old, wherfore the Iewes þat comen of ysaacces lyne ben circumcyded the .viij. day And the sarrazines þat comen of ysmaeles lyne ben circumcyded whan þei ben .xiiij. ȝeer of age. And ȝee schuƚƚ vndirstonde þat within the dede see renneth the flom Iordan & þere it dyetℏ, for it renneth no furþermore And þat is to a place þat is a myle fro the chirche of seynt Ioℏn the Baptist toward the west, a lytiƚƚ benethe the place where þat cristene men bathen hem comounly. And a myle from flom Jordan is the ryuere of labocℏ, the whiche Iacob passed ouer whan he cam fro Mesopotayme. This flom Iordan is no [folio 47a] gret ryuere but it is plentefous of gode fisscℏ And it cometh out of the hiƚƚ of lyban be .ij. welles þat benPage  1:69 cleped Ior and Dan, and of þo .ij. welles hath it the name And it passeth be a lake þat is clept Maron and after it passetℏ by the see of Tyberye & passeth vnder the hilles of GELBOE. And þere is a fuƚƚ faire vale bothe on þat o syde & on þat other of the same ryuere. And then gon the hilles of lyban aƚƚ in lengtℏe vnto the desert of Pharan And þo hilles departen the kyngdom of surrye and the contree of PHENESIE And vpon þo hilles growen trees of Cedre þat ben fuƚƚ hye & þei beren longe apples & als grete as a mannes heued. And also this flom Iordan departeþ the lond of Galilee & the lond of YDUMYE & the lond of BETRON. And þat rennetℏ vnder ertℏe a gret weye vnto a fayre playn & a gret þat is clept MELDAN in SARMOYZ þat is to seye feyre or markett in here langage be cause þat þere is often feyres in þat playn; And þere becometh the water gret & large. In þat playn is the tombe of Iob And in þat flom Iordan aboueseyd was oure lord baptized of seynt Ioℏn And the voys of god the fader was herd seyenge: "HIC EST FILIUS MEUS DILECTUS" & CETERA, þat is to seye: this is my beloued sone, in the whicℏ I am wel plesed, heretℏ hym. And the holy gost alygℏte vpon him in lykness of a coluer And so at his baptizynge was aƚƚ the hool trynytee. And þorgh þat flom passeden the children of Israel aƚƚ drye feet And þei putten stones þere in the myddel place in tokene of the myracle þat the water withdrowgℏ him so. Also in þat flom Iordan NAAMAN of Syrie bathed him þat was fuƚƚ riche but he was meseƚƚ & þere anon he toke his hele. Abouten the flom Iordan ben manye chirches where þat manye cristene men dwelleden And nygℏ þerto is the cytee of HAYLLA þat Iosue assayled & toke. [folio 47b] Also beȝonde the flom Iordan is the vale of Mambre & þat is a fuƚƚ fair vale. Also from the hiƚƚ þat I spak of before where oure lord fasted .xl. dayes, a .ij. myle long towards Galilee is a fair hiƚƚ & an higℏ where the enemy the fend bare oure lord the thridde tyme to tempte him &Page  1:70 schewede him aƚƚ the regiouns of the world & seyde: "HEC OMNIA TIBI DABO SI CADENS ADORAUERIS ME," þat is to seyne: Aƚƚ this schaƚƚ I ȝeue þe ȝif þou falle & worschipe me. Also fro the dede see to gon estward out of the marches of the holy lond þat is clept the lond of promyssioun is a strong casteƚƚ and a fair in an hiƚƚ þat is clept CARAK EN SARMOYZ, þat is to seyne Ryally. Þat casteƚƚ let make kyng Baldwyn̛ þat was kyng of France whan he had conquered þat lond & putte it into cristene mennes hondes for to kepe the contree; And for þat cause was it clept the Mownt riaƚƚ. And vnder it þere is a town þat hight SOBACH And þere aƚƚ abowte dwellen cristene men vnder trybute. Fro þens gon men to NAZARETH of the whicℏe oure lord beretℏ the surname, And fro þens þere is .iij. iourneyes to Ierusalem & men gon be the prouynce of GALYLEE, be RAMATHA, be Sothym & be the higℏ hiƚƚ of EFFRAIM, where Elchana & ANNE the moder of Samueƚƚ the prophete dwelleden. Þere was born this propℏete And after his detℏ he was buryed at mountjoye as I haue seyd ȝou before. And þan gon men to Sylo where the Arke of god with the relikes weren kept longe tyme vnder Ely the prophete; þere made the peple of Ebron sacrifice to oure lord & þei ȝolden vp here avowes And þere spak god first to SAMUEƚƚ and schewed him the mutacioun of ordre of presthode & the misterie of the sacrement And rigℏt nygℏ on the left syde [folio 48a] is GABAON & RAMA & BENIAMYN of the whiche holy writt speketh offe. And after men gon to Sychem sumtyme clept Sychar & þat is in the prouynce of Samaritanes & þere is a fuƚƚ fair vale & a fructuouse & þere is a fair cytee & a gode þat men clepen Neople. And from þens is a iorneye to Ierusalem And þere is the welle where oure lord spak to the womman of Samaritan And þer was wont to ben a chirche but it is beten doun. Besyde þat welle kyng Roboas let make .IJ. CALUEREN of gold & made hem to ben worschipt & put þat on at Dan & þat oþer at BETEƚƚ. And a myle from SYCHAR is the cytee of Deluze And inPage  1:71 þat cytee dwelte ABRAHAM a certeyn tyme. SYCHEM is a .x. myle fro Ierusalem & it is clept Neople, þat is for to seyne the newe cytee. And nygℏ besyde is the tombe of Iosepℏ the sone of Iacob þat gouerned Egypt, For the Iewes baren his bones from Egypt & buryed hem þere, And þider gon the Iewes often tyme in pilgrimage with gret deuocioun. In þat cytee was Dyne Iacobes doughter rauysscℏt for whom hire bretℏeren slowen many persones & diden many harmes to the cytee. And þere besyde is the hiƚƚ of GARASOUN where the Samaritanes maken here sacrifise; In þat hiƚƚ wolde Abraham haue sacrificed his sone ysaac. And þere besyde is the vale of DOTAYM & þere is the cisterne where Iosepℏ was cast in of his breþeren whicℏ þei solden & þat is a .ij. myle fro SYCHAR. From þens gon men to SAMARYE þat men clepen now SEBAST And þat is the chief cytee of þat contree And it sytt betwene the hiƚƚ of AYGUES as Ierusalem doth. In that cytee was the sittynges of the .xij. tribes of Israel but the cytee is not now so gret as it was wont to be. Þere was [folio 48b] buryed seynt IOHN THE BAPTIST betwene .ij. propℏetes; helyseus and ABDYAN, but he was beheded in the casteƚƚ of Macharyme besyde the dede see And after he was translated of his disciples & buryed at SAMARIE And þere let IULIANUS APOSTATA dyggen him vp & let brennen his bones, for he was þat tyme Emperour, & let wyndwe the askes in the wynd; But the fynger þat schewed oure lord seyenge: "ECCE AGNUS DEI," þat is to seyne: lo the lomb of god, þat nolde neuere brenne but is aƚƚ hol, þat fynger leet seynte Tecle the holy virgyne be born in to the hiƚƚ of Sebast & þere maken men gret feste. In þat place was wont to ben a fair chirche & manye oþere þere weren but þei ben aƚƚ beten doun. Þere was wont to ben the heed of seynt IOHN BAPTIST enclosed in the waƚƚ, but the Emperour THEODOSIE let drawe it out & fond it wrapped in a litiƚƚ cloth aƚƚ blody And so he leet it to be born to COSTANTYNOBLE, And ȝit at Costantynoble is the hynder partye of the heed.Page  1:72 And the forpartie of the heed til vnder the chyn is at Rome in the chirche of seynt SILUESTRE, where ben Nonnes of an hundred ordres & it is ȝit aƚƚ broylly as þougℏ it were half brent, For the Emperour IULIANUS aboueseyd of his cursedness & malice let brennen þat partie with the oþer bones & ȝit it schewetℏ. And this thing hatℏ ben preued botℏe be Popes & by Emperours. And the jowes benetℏe þat holden to the chyn & a partie of the assches & the platere þat the hed was leyd in whan it was smyten of is at GENE, And the Geneweyes maken of it gret feste, And so don the Sarazynes also. And summen seyn þat the heed of seynt Ioℏn is at AMYAS in Picardye And oþer men seyn þat it is the heed of seynt Ioℏn the bysschop; I wot nere, but god knowetℏ. [folio 49a] But in what wyse þat men worschipen it the blessed seynt Ioℏn holt him apayd. Fro this cytee of SEBAST vnto IERUSALEM is .xij. myle And betwene the hilles of þat contree þere is a welle þat .iiij. sithes in the ȝeer chaungeth his colour, somtyme grene somtyme reed somtyme cleer & somtyme trouble, And men clepen þat welle IOB And the folk of þat contree þat men clepen SAMARITANES weren conuerted & baptized by the Apostles, but þei holden not wel here doctryne, And aƚƚ weys þei holden lawes by hem self, varyenge from cristene men, from Sarrazines, Iewes & paynemes. & the samaritanes leeven wel in o god And þei seyn wel þat þer is but only o god þat aƚƚ formed & aƚƚ schaƚƚ deme And þei holden the bible after the lettre And þei vsen the psawtere as the Iewes don And þei seyn þat þei ben the rigℏt sones of god, And among aƚƚ oþer folk þei seyn þat þei ben best beloued of god, And þat to hem belongetℏ the heritage þat god behigℏte to hise beloued children. And þei han also dyuerse clothinge & schapp to loken on þan oþer folk han, for þei wrappen here hedes in red lynnene clotℏ, in difference from oþere. And the Sarazines wrappen here hedes in white lynneue clotℏ, And thePage  1:73 cristene men þat duellen in the contree wrappen hem in blew of ynde, And the Iewes in ȝelow clotℏ. In þat contree dwellen manye of the Iewes payenge trybute as cristene men don And ȝif ȝee wil knowe the lettres þat the Iewes vsen þei ben suche And the names ben As þei clepen hem writen abouen in manere of here. A. B. C.

[Another alphabet.] [folio 49b]